'Work remains to be done' on UAE nuclear energy project, says IAEA

International Atomic Energy Agency makes a number of recommendations and suggestions after inspecting progress at the UAE's Barakah plant
'Work remains to be done' on UAE nuclear energy project, says IAEA
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Mon 02 Jul 2018 01:57 PM

A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded an eight-day mission to the UAE to review its development of infrastructure for its nuclear power programme, it was announced on Monday.

The UAE is currently building its first nuclear power plant at the Baraah site in Abu Dhabi, where it has commissioned the Korea Electric Power Company to construct and commission for 1400 MW pressurized water reactors.

The IAEA’s ‘integrated nuclear infrastructure review’ (INIR) was the first the entity has conducted in the UAE in the final phase of its ‘Milestones Approach’, which provides guidance for developing nuclear power infrastructure. A previous INIR phase 2 mission was conducted in 2011.

The visit was hosted by the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

“This INIR phase 3 mission is the first of its kind, marking an important milestone for both the UAE and the IAEA,” team leader Milko Kovachev said. “We met with highly motivated and competent professionals from the UAE and the mission was conducted in a cooperative and open atmosphere.”

“The UAE is well-focused in its preparations for the operation of the first unit of the nuclear power plant, although some work remains to be done,” Kovachev added.

Among the recommendations and suggestions the team made were a need for the operating organisation to finalize all necessary arrangements required to reach operational readiness, the need for the UAE to approve and implement arrangements for radioactive waste management, and the implementation of arranged required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the nuclear power programme.

“The UAE is rapidly moving forward with the development of its peaceful nuclear energy sector,” said Hamad Alkaabi, the UAE’s permanent representative to the IAEA. “The successful conclusion of the phase 3 INIR mission is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to upholding the highest international standards of safety, security, and transparency as we approach the commissioning of the nation’s first nuclear energy plant.”

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